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Commercialization of Education

Commercialization of Education research papers submit that there is a growing shift in academics that is marked by changes in student demands and motives for seeking education at the university level.  The factors that have been offered as contributing to the commercialization of education include new cultural environments, advances in technology and the demand for training that can be applied in the “real world”.  While a number of institutions of higher learning have transformed their structures and curriculum to meet these new demands listed in a commercialization of education research papers, which has included less emphasis on the humanities, many educators maintain that the advantages of a liberal arts education with its strong emphasis on the humanities should not be ignored.

Ways in Which Education has Commercialized:

  • Education Franchises (i.e. University of Phoenix)
  • Corporate Sponsorship of School Cafeterias
  • Sponsorship of Sports Teams
  • Corporate Sponsored Courses and Affiliate Programs
Commercialization of Education

Traub emphasizes this phenomenon in the example of the University of Phoenix.  As a preface, Commercialization of Education research papers detail the commercialization of education that is especially apparent in the University’s establishment of franchises throughout the country.  While regional extensions of universities are not unusual, the University of Phoenix maintains forty-seven sites in Michigan, Florida and Louisiana.

According to Commercialization of Education research papers, the operational environment of the University of Phoenix and its affiliates is “without a campus life, or even an intellectual life”.  It is fair to suggest that the University of Phoenix is responding to the increasingly competitive environment of higher education, as one Commercialization of Education research paper suggests that “It’s a Darwinian world out there” and the University of Phoenix must compete with both the small private colleges and large state institutions that garner the majority of student enrollments each year.

Commercialization of Education and Knowledge

The purpose of education is to impart knowledge into human minds, which allows learners to become a contributing member of society.  The business world began a school partnership campaign several years ago. According to the business community, this partnership would allow for the business world to come alongside educational intuitions and provide resources that would not otherwise be available.  The schools responsibility would be to put out students who are workforce ready.

There are very few regulations concerning marketing and commercialism in schools, even though teachers, health care providers, and parents voice their concerns for the negative effects of these partnerships. Companies are using many different tactics to further their businesses. Some schools have cafeteria walls covered in advertisements for different food companies.  Children are used as marketing tools for school fund raisers.  These fund raisers promise needed funding to the school or districts when students sell the company’s product. Rewards are given that require students to visit stores or restaurants to claim their prizes.

Some argue that this commercialization is detrimental to children.  Some health experts are pointing to the link between these commercial practices in the school and childhood obesity.  Other critics claim that continued advertisements during high school programming lead to higher levels of insecurity among students.  Some are concerned that the messages students receive teach them unhealthy lessons about financial responsibility. 

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